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Understanding Colour Temperature

Any form of replacement technology, throughout time, has been met with resistance at first. Largely, this is down to people being unaware of its characteristics, either for how we use it or what classifies it as a good investment.

The lighting industry is experiencing its own reappraisal right now. LED lights are overtaking halogen and incandescent bulbs for bright, eco-friendly illumination in homes and premises across the UK.

Many people, however, are tricked into buying LED fixtures that aren’t genuine replacements. But there is one important test of authenticity – the LED colour temperature chart…

Colour temperatures in degrees Kelvin

Light in the temperature spectrum

When we spark an energy current to life, a light source is created. As more heat is emitted, the colour of the light will change. We measure this spectrum on the Kelvin Colour Scale: lower levels take in reds, oranges and yellows, until the scale moves to white, whereupon it climbs to purples and dark blues.

It’s therefore possible to gauge the temperature of a light bulb by the tone it’s adopted. The benchmark for all of this is daylight, as the sun hits the lower end of the scale when it’s cooler, and brightens considerably when it’s closer to earth.

While bright daylight stands at around 6000K, LED lighting tends to vary from 2000K to 4000K. The colour temperature you choose will depend on your preferences and the application.

Exploring colour temperatures

2000k – 2200k

Usage: Decorative & ambient secondary lighting 

Like: Candle light

This is a really warm and vibrant colour temperature that is perfect for evenings, when you have turned the main lights off and you want to have a romantic dinner or just relax in your living room.

Our beautiful range of dimmable flexible LED filament lamps come in both 2000k and 2200k, and can be used as a statement pendent hung from the ceiling;

or in a table lamp;

2700k

Usage: Primary lighting for all domestic home applications

Like: Halogen & incandescent lamps

The correct colour temperature for replacing halogen and incandescent lamps. We recommend this for almost all applications in the domestic home. From kitchens and dining rooms to bedrooms and bathrooms, this is our favourite colour temperature because it provides a lovely balance between warm & ambient and light & bright.

3000k

Usage: Retail stores and offices

This colour temperature is best suited to commercial properties, such as retail stores and offices. These types of applications don’t require the warm feel of 2700k, preferring to go up the Kelvin scale for a slightly whiter light.

4000k

Usage: Factories, warehouses, car parks and security

4000k will make everything appear brighter. As it’s extremely white light, we mainly use this colour temperature for commercial and industrial applications. 

However, some customers do occasionally seek 4000k lighting for their kitchen or bathroom. That’s fine: lighting is subjective and what works for one person may not work for another, so we do stock our 7w GU10 in 4000k.

Why this matters…

Capitalising on the push for LED integration, some stockists are guilty of fabricating their light’s ability to reproduce the brightness levels we’re used to. ‘Warm white,’ for example, can vary from anything between 2,000-3,000K on the meter. To avoid being conned, it’s vital that you check where the lighting sits on the Kelvin scale.

It’s also worth noting that colour temperature is correlated to the CRI (Colour Rendering Index), which indicates how well the light renders your interior’s natural colour shade. This grade goes from 0-100; the closer a light fixture is to the top, the less it’ll distort the hue of your décor.

All of this matters because, if you’re looking for the best possible way to display the aesthetics of your furnishing and homeware, you need to get the lighting right. Colour temperature can determine whether a room is bright, dim or inviting, so it’s vital to pay attention to factors that signal the quality of the halogen or incandescent replacement.

We’re adamant about helping you know exactly what you’re buying where LED lighting is concerned. Our filaments, bulbs and spotlights are waiting for your attention; see what we have in store, and choose Well Lit for a smart eco-switch…

Well Lit are the Proud Winners of Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday, and finalists of The Observer Ethical Awards

The Observer Ethical AwardsWinner: Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday